Tag Archives: salad

Avocado Chicken Salad

It seems like spring just flew by us and Reno decided it was summer over the course of two days.  You gotta love that summer time heat.  To me it means backyard BBQs, going to the lake and spending lots of time in the sunshine (don’t forget the SPF).

Can you believe half of 2013 has already passed us by??  Have you been diligent in keeping up with that New Year’s resolution to be bikini ready by the time summer arrives?  Mentally – I wanted to.  Physically- well that’s another story…  Since I haven’t really had the time to work out, I just try to remember to eat as healthy as I can, and control that portion size.

One of my first posts for Like Write on Rice was Arepas de Venezuela.  The reason I bring this up is because the Avocado Chicken Salad is derived from a common filling Venezuelans like to stuff their arepas with.  La Renia Pepiada is often what this filling is called (in case you ever find yourself in a Venezuelan restaurant).  I’ve altered the recipe just slightly to make it healthier. AvocadoChicken2

One last tid-bit I’d like to express with you is my distaste of canned chicken.  Sure – it’s easy and convenient.  For me, I just can’t seem to get myself to like it.  So, in this recipe feel free to substitute canned chicken.  I like poaching my own chicken and shredding it.  It tastes fresher to me.

To poach chicken (breasts, tenders or any chicken part really) bring a pot of water to boiling.  You can season the chicken ahead of time if you wish, but I usually poach is plain if I’m adding it to another dish.  When the water is boiling throw in your chicken (frozen or fresh).  Turn the heat down to where it no longer comes to a rolling boil.  You want the water to slightly swirl, but absolutely not boiling.  Let the chicken sit in there until it is cooked through.  Time varies based on size and fresh or frozen.

Ingredients:
3 Chicken Tenders (poached, shredded)
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion (like relish)
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1/3-1/4 C plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp lime juice
½ an avocado (cubed)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: Combine chicken, onion, cilantro, lime juice, Greek yogurt.  Add avocado last and fold in.  Serve and enjoy!

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Another nice substitute/addition to make to this salad is celery.  You can replace the onion with celery if you don’t like onions.  Or add it in as an additional source of crunchiness.

What do you think?  Will you be making this for lunch, dinner or a snack this week?

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Buffalo Chicken Salad

One of my favorite indulgences is eating a mess of chicken wings.  I love any excuse to go to a sports bar and guzzle down a nice tall beer with some chicken wings.  The bad side to this is that these tasty little chicken wings are usually deep-fried then smothered with a variety of sauces (Frank’s Red Hot is one of my favs).  Not the healthiest meal out there.

Recently, I’ve seen at several restaurants the Buffalo Chicken Salad option.  This salad is so simple to make, it almost seems silly to buy at a restaurant.  I can justify buying chicken wings because getting the deep fat fryer out to recreate sports bar wings is a little work intensive sometimes.  I hate cleaning up fry oil, plus, when I cook at home I try to eat healthier because I know I can go out and buy calorie laden food.BuffaloChicken2

In my recipe, I decided to use a combo of Panko breadcrumbs and my almond cornmeal from the Almond Flour Debacle post a while back.  The breadcrumb/almond cornmeal combination was amazing.  The salads turned out really well.  This dinner took place at my best friend’s house and she participates in a delivery system of locally delivered produce from Whole Foods, so we used the locally grown lettuce, avocado and tomato in our meal.

I also took a 2nd stab at homemade Ranch dressing.  This version turned out even better than the first.  I used plain Greek yogurt, the same spices from my previous post and thinned the yogurt out with buttermilk this time.  I doubt I will ever buy Ranch dressing again, this version is far superior.

Ingredients:
Chicken tenders (as many as desired)
Panko Breadcrumbs
Almond Cornmeal
Olive Oil
Lettuce
Bleu cheese crumbles
Avocado
Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
1-2 beaten eggs (depending on how many tenders you make)

See previous post for Ranch Dressing recipe.

Directions:

Marinate the chicken tenders in a little bit of the Franks Red Hot Sauce.  Once removed, dredge in beaten eggs then coat in 1:1 mixture of breadcrumbs and almond flour/cornmeal.  In a pan, heat olive oil and cook chicken tenders until golden on each side.  Meanwhile, prepare the lettuce and avocado.  After chicken is cooked, cut into bite size pieces and toss in more Franks Red Hot Sauce.  Assemble salad and enjoy!

Are you tired of salad posts yet?  Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!

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Cucumber Noodle Salad

Often times, I crave pasta at lunch.  I don’t know what it is about twirling noodles on a fork that I find so appealing.  But since I try to be sensible about what I eat, I know that a daily dose of pasta probably isn’t the best choice to be making for the waist line.

I was sitting at work one day, pondering the possibilities of lunch, when the only thing on my mind was pasta… pasta… and pasta.  UGH!  There has to be a way I can combat this pasta craving with a healthier substitute.  (LIGHT BULB)

A few weeks back, I had encountered this handy little tool at William’s Sonoma.  It is a julienne peeler.  Hmm… well that could enable me to make noodles out of nearly any veggie.  An idea was hatched… I will try my hand at making cucumber noodle salad.

Ingredients:
2 English cucumbers
½ red onion
salt
¼ C rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more depending on desired spiciness)
¼ c water
toasted sesame seeds

Directions:  Peel English cucumber lengthwise to create long “noodles”.  Continue around the cucumber until you’ve reached the core, do not peel the seeded portion. (I just save the middle of my cucumber and cut it into slices for a snack).  In a bowl, salt the cucumber noodles to help extract the water.  If you have time, allow this to sit refrigerated for up to an hour.  (I gave myself about 15 minutes, and my “noodles” were a little soggy, but still eatable).

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While cucumber noodles are refrigerating, thinly slice the onion.  Shoestring slices are preferable to match the noodle consistency of the cucumber.  Blanch sliced onions (this step is optional, I don’t like an overly strong onion flavor because it literally gives me a headache when I eat it, I’ve found that if I just shock them with some boiling water, then drain that the flavor is more palatable).

Mix together ingredients for dressing: rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, sugar and water.  Once cucumber noodles are done “draining” combine it with red onion and dressing.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve.

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Chinese Chicken Maifun Salad

Sadly, this week, I have no funny back story for this recipe.  There are lots of versions of Chinese chicken salad out there, and this is merely one of them.  This was a re-engineered recipe of a Chinese chicken salad I’ve enjoyed over the years from Flaming Wok at Meadowood Mall.

I know, it may seem silly to reconstruct a salad made from a Chinese fast food place, but it was one of my favorites, so I had to try.  Plus, every time I would buy this salad I thought, why can’t I just make this?  It’s not complex; very few ingredients.

If you take anything away from this blog post, I hope it’s that you learn the ease and deliciousness of poaching chicken as a cooking method.  And seeing how fun it is to fry maifun noodles.

Ingredients:
3-4 chicken tenderloins; poached; then thinly sliced
1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
Maifun noodles (cook as many as desired, sometimes you can get carried away cooking them because it’s so fun!)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions chopped (optional)

For the Dressing:
2 Tsp. Sesame Oil
1/4 Canola Oil (salad oil)
1/4 Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar

– Directions –
To Poach Chicken: Boil a pot of water large enough to house chicken pieces. Chicken can be frozen or thawed.  Once water is boiling, drop in chicken, and turn heat down to a temperature where the water is swirling, but not boiling. For frozen chicken, you may have to leave it in for 15 minutes, thawed chicken; it should cook within 5-6 minutes.

To fry maifun noodles:  Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a pot.  Temperature should reach 375-400 degrees, but if you don’t have a thermometer, it’s OK. Monitor the oil, and periodically drop in a bit of small noodle.  If it sizzles and rises to the top fast, your oil is ready.  Proceed to cook as many noodles as desired.

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Dressing:  Combine ingredients, and mix thoroughly.

Assemble the salad:  Combine thinly sliced lettuce with chicken, and sesame seeds.  Just before serving, toss in dressing and maifun noodles.  Serve immediately.

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I hope you enjoy this simple salad.  Let me know what you think.

Taboule Salad

What is taboule?  It’s bulgur wheat.  What is bulgur wheat? you ask. It’s a complex carbohydrate that I don’t think many people know about.

Taboule or Tabouleh (there are actually many different spellings of this word) is common in Middle Eastern cuisine.  Since it is a rather bland grain by itself, it can be nicely dressed up with whatever vegetables or spices you’d like to couple it with.

I learned about this grain several years back when my mom was on a very strict diet in conjunction with a holistic medical treatment she was undergoing.  If I recall correctly, she was allowed a list of about ten different things and this was one of them.

Our conversation:

Mom: “I can have bulgur wheat.”
Me: “Vulgar what?? You can eat naughty wheat?”
Mom: “No, no… Buh..buh… Bulgur Wheat.”
Me: “Ooooohhhh, is it yummy?”
Mom: “We’re going to find out.”

From a nutritional standpoint, bulgur wheat is quite the superstar.  According to this website, when one cup of cooked bulgur wheat is compared to one cup of brown rice, it has fewer calories, less fat and more fiber.  The naughty wheat isn’t so naughty… it’s actually quite good for you.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is rather traditional.  However, like I said, it’s bland on taste which means flavor possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:BulgurWheat2
2 box bulgur wheat (Near East is the brand I used)
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 medium cucumber peeled, chopped
2 tomatoes seeded and chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Cook taboule according to instructions on box.  Omit the season packet; this recipe only uses the plain bulgur wheat.  Once cooled, add in garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato, green onion, mint, olive oil and lemon juice.  Toss together.  Chill and serve.

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Have you ever had vulgar bulgur wheat before? Please share your recipes with me if you have!